What does the “A” Mean on a Hockey Jersey? (Explained)

You may have noticed the sports players’ uniform jerseys that follow the same pattern. The team logo will be on the front, and their surname (or family name) and jersey number will be on the back. Depending on the sport, you might also see some logos of league sponsors.

Some ice hockey players, particularly in the NHL, have the letter C or A on the front of their jerseys. The “C” stands for the team captain in NHL and NFL. But hockey is the only sport where you can see the ‘A.’ In this article, you will learn what this ‘A’ means on a hockey jersey.

What does the “A” Mean on a Hockey Jersey?

The letter “A” on a hockey jersey typically stands for “Alternate Captain.” In hockey, there are usually two players designated as alternate captains who are responsible for leading the team in the absence of the captain. They may also wear a letter “A” on their jerseys to signify their leadership role. The captain of the team typically wears a “C” on their jersey to signify their role as the team’s leader.

What does the a Mean on a Hockey Jersey?

The letter A on a hockey uniform denotes the “Alternate captain.” Like the Captain, the Alternate Captain is given special speaking rights with the referee. For each game, there can be up to three alternate captains or two alternates and one captain. 

If the designated captain is unavailable for discussion, substitute captains are required. The alternates are also responsible if the team hasn’t yet named a captain.

A minimum of two alternate captains, or a captain and an alternate, must be present for every game. It’s crucial to remember that players in leadership roles are not permitted to misuse their authority by contesting on-ice decisions. If so, they may be given a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior. Instead, these players are there to hear the referee’s interpretation so they may report it to their bench coaches.

The term “assistant captain” is occasionally used. But it is not even stated once in the official NHL rulebook.

Why do Ice Hockey Teams have Captains?

There are several reasons why hockey teams have captains:

  • The team’s captain is in charge of setting the tone, whether it means pushing the squad forward during practice, boosting spirits on the bench, or being a good sport after a game.
  • They act as a communication channel between the coaching staff and players to ensure everyone is on the same page. 
  • The captain is also usually among the team’s most seasoned and talented players. As a result, they can mentor younger players and assist them in developing their hockey skills.

Concisely, we can say the captain is crucial to the success of their team both on and off the ice.

How to Select a Captain or Alternate Captain?

Coaches select players who can inspire their teammates and take the position of a leader as alternate captains.

In the case of a captain, either the players can vote, or the coach can make the final decision. The alternates take the lead in unison or alternate as the main speaker in the room when the squad has yet to choose a captain.

What is the Role of the Team Captain?

The captain is mainly in charge of game strategy. They frequently have a significant influence on the morale of the team. They can lead by example for the younger players and inspire and motivate their teammates.

The team’s captain is typically its star performer and is often looked for guidance on and off the ice.

The team captain is typically the player speaking with the officials about how the rules should be interpreted. They are frequently asked to talk to the media, represent their team at gatherings, and act as sports ambassadors. The captain also attends the team’s social events and award ceremonies.

What Are the Qualities of a Good Hockey Captain?

An influential hockey captain sets an example both on and off the court. They are someone their teammates can look up to and depend on. 

A good captain is a great communicator by delivering instructions and listening to their teammates. A competent captain also has a thorough knowledge of the game and can make wise choices under pressure.

All sports teams need a captain. It takes a unique individual to wear the letter C on their uniform. You have what it takes to be a great captain if you possess the traits mentioned above.

List of Famous Hockey Captains

Here is a list of several well-known hockey captains and the teams they were most closely affiliated with. Many of these names will be recognizable even to non-hockey enthusiasts.

  • Wayne Gretzky- Edmonton Oilers
  • Mario Lemieux- Pittsburgh Penguins
  • John Beliveau- Montreal Canadiens
  • Bobby Clarke- Philadelphia Flyers
  • Steve Yzerman- Detroit Red Wings
  • Gordie Howe- Detroit Red Wings
  • Wendell Clark- Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Sidney Crosby- Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Conner McDavid- Edmonton Oilers
  • Ray Bourque- Boston Bruins
  • Mark Messier- Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers
  • Joe Sakic- Quebec Nordiques and Colorado Avalanche
  • Maurice Richard- Montreal Canadiens
  • Henri Richard- Montreal Canadiens
  • Denis Potvin- New York Islanders
  • Ted Kennedy- Toronto Maple Leafs

Can Hockey Goalies Carry the A?

On the ice, goalies are not permitted to have the position of captain or alternate captain. Unofficially, they may have leadership positions. But they do not have on-ice privileges.

Can Coaches or Managers Carry the A?

No, coaches and managers are not permitted to carry the A.

Where does the A Go on A Hockey Jersey?

The alternate captain’s jersey always has the letter A on the left side.

What do Hockey Jersey Numbers Mean?

The hockey numbers 2-6 were typically used for defense, while 7-11 were usually used for forwards. Therefore, each hockey jersey number is significant in the match.

What Numbers are Not Allowed to be Worn in Hockey on Jerseys? 

The numbers 66, 69, 99, 80, 84, and 94 are not allowed to be worn in hockey on jerseys.

Even yet, just a few numbers—19, 25, 36, 41, 45, 50, 70, 72, 74, and 88—are permitted to be displayed on a hockey jersey.

Why does the Indian Hockey Jersey have Odisha Written on It?

There’s a good reason why Odisha is inscribed on the Indian hockey jersey. The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams will both be supported by the state of Odisha. Therefore, Odisha is written on Indian hockey jerseys.

Who is the Youngest Captain in NHL History?

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, who coincidentally is rated by many as the best hockey player in the world, was the youngest player ever to be named a full-time team captain in NHL history.

On October 5, 2016, when he was 19 and 266 days old, he was awarded the award. Gabriel Landeskog, who was elected captain of the Colorado Avalanche at the age of 19 years and 286 days, previously held the record.

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